Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Is it Summer Already?

The time keeps flying by and this Thursday will be the first day of Summer. Have you gotten all your summer gigs lined up? Seems this year Birthday season gigs have been coming in very well. With the price of gasoline getting high this year, folks are going to be planning more parties and events at home. So use this logic to sell your shows. Market the term " all is included in one price" when giving your final price for a booking. I have just seen one of the casino's in Reno are actually giving a gasoline credit if you stay at their Hotel. So this is going to be a very interesting summer to see how well you can score those picnics and parties and camp shows.

As for me I have just been lucky most of the gigs have been no more then a half an hour away from my home, sometimes as close as 10 minutes away. This week I am actually all booked up in the evenings after work here at Hocus Pocus. So I am taking some time at work to get the blog done today instead of tonight.

The Hocus Pocus Lecture Series continues....

and is proud to host "An Evening with Fukai." From Osaka, Japan, Fukai is world renowned for his innovations in stage magic, presentation, and his award-winning parasol act! Fukai, the well known Japanese magician of Umbrella act fame will be lecturing on both stage and close up magic.

Fukai will be displaying some of his latest magic products as well as Japanese magician Masuda's innovative magic items ("WOW", etc). Some of Fukai's famous items include Fukai's Throw Coils, Any Can Airborn, Car Siren, Flying Silk Reel, Dancing Cane, Lighted Dancing Cane, The Top Hat Set Routine, Lecture DVDs, and more! Lecture notes and instructions are in English, not to worry!

Where: Hocus Pocus Magic Shop ~ 1492 N. Clark, #104 ~ Fresno, CA. 93703 When: Monday, July 9th, 2007 ~ 7:00 P.M.

Admission: $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door.To make reservations by credit card or for further information, call us toll-free at (800) 407-4040 or 559-266-5150

Tony' Picks

Tickling The Mind DVD by Mel Mellers

One of the greatest things about working here is getting to see the hot new items. Some are get and some are just short of great. Here is a DVD set that is beyond great, Tickling the Mind by Mel Mellers. Mel is one of Europe's leading cabaret performers and it shows on each frame of these 2 DVD's. "Tickling the Mind" comes as Volume 1 and 2 with 16 killer comedy effects (8 effects on each DVD). Watching Mel work a room is what comedy magic is all about. He tips some of his best routines and it is filmed before a live audience (not a studio group) to really get the sense of his powerful style of humor. Here are routines, gags and bits of business with a touch of mentalism for both a magic moment and a comedy laugh at the same time. Video clip is on the website of his work, don't miss out on these 2 DVD's

Color Spot Paddle

Once again master craftsman Joe Porper has created a magical work of art with Color Spot Paddle. The premise starts out with a Red spot on both sides of the paddle. Then it changes from Red to White on both sides. One more time a magical change of White to Blue. Thanks to Joe's great workmanship this paddle is as safe as can be to hand out to a spectator because of a locking mechanism. Check out this great and well made future magical classic while they last.

Lester Lake Guillotine

From the classic by gone era of magic comes the Lester Lake Guillotine. A true classic of magic as performed by many legendary magicians. Here is a new version yet with a classic feel of old world magic. This version has holes on the sides so that the spectators actually see the blade pass through. It stands at about 3 1/2 feet high and 2 1/2 feet wide a good size visual illusion yet able to pack in the travel case (provided) and fit in the back of your car. Now here is an illusion priced just right and plays big.

Little Fishy

From Diamond Jim Tyler comes the return of one of his great effects. It began in 1997 when Diamond Jim would blow the minds of both spectators and magicians with the production of a live gold fish and bowl close-up. Magicians began to ask Jim to release this great effect and he did. Then after awhile the fish bowl was not available. Now Diamond Jim has found the perfect fish bowl and is re-releasing this great effect. You get the full workings on the effect, fishbowl and super secret gimmick to make it all work. Goldfish not included. Here is a effect for those of your working close-up, parlor, stage or street. Its a winner!

Big Voice

Just in time for all those outdoors gigs where finding a electrical outlet is just not going to happen comes Big Voice Portable Waistband Amplifier. Here is an item I personally got to test the other day. I put the batteries in, hooked it up and started testing it. I had Paul stand at our entrance of Hocus Pocus as I proceeded to walk out the door and down the street. He said he still heard me clearly over 50 feet away. This being a rather industrial block with trucks going by at the time. This unit has won several awards for its compact size and 6 watts of sound. Comes with a main unit, headset microphone system, charger and batteries. I recommend getting rechargeable batteries for this unit. Imagine now being able to play outdoor gigs with a compact sound system that really works! Great tool for any strolling entertainer and stage too!

Tony's Tips
I started to touch upon a topic earlier in the opening of the blog and that is cost of living (gasoline to be exact). Over the years I have noticed when the economy has problems sometimes folks are not willing to spend big bucks for parties. Then on the other hand like this current gasoline price hiking for the summer, folks just choose to go to one event verses many more.
I read the papers and see lots of ads for all types of products. The big boom in advertising is about making homes look like show places to be exact the backyard. Yes you might say its about summer and to sell the great back yard but nope this is to make it all year round place. So I am thinking in the same way magazines and newspapers advertise the latest greatest BBQ system, start gearing your photos the same way. Go for the look of the entertainer of the great backyard. Make your PR photos look like you make the party happen.
In the Casino biz the sales photos always look like they are shoot at the hottest blackjack tables or slot machines. Lots of energy and color. Well you may want to study these types of ads so that your photos look full of energy and lively. You can even think the same way the casino does and set the shot with models and props to give the impression of high energy. OK, I got off to a little rant. Anyway with the current economy folks are looking for the best deal and how much you can offer to your customers will make you stand out more.

This weeks tip is about how you should start thinking more like advertiser's do and to sell your show or services on both a commerical level and yet entertaining level. Be aware not to get to slick in your style of ads but yet touch on how using your magic show the customer will always get their monies worth . The use of different levels of shows and prices is something I never considered because most times its to much for the customer to think about or choose. Now on the other hand with different price levels and show lengths you can adjust what the customer has to spend when looking for a entertainer. Having folks call and finding out they don't wish to spend as much as you charge hurts and to lose a gig hurts even more. So I am not saying lower your prices and not make money but see what their budget is and maybe you can still get the gig.

Do you have any suggestions on your ways of saving customers a little money? Do you have special budget ideas?

Share your ideas here at Tony's Tips and Picks. Send email to tony@hocus-pocus.com

Wishing you a magical week full of gigs,
Tony Blanco

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